The Secrets to Growing Your Website’s Leads, Calls & Sales: Car Dealer Specials Pages: Wasted Online Real Estate!


When it comes to online vehicle specials, I’m flat out embarrassed for more than half of the dealerships I work with. There are even times that I actually want to ask: Why do you even have links to your specials pages on your website?

If you’re a typical dealer, your specials pages can be one of the most visited areas of your website. Of course, if you are a typical dealer, your vehicle specials pages are just wasted online real estate. There are basically three types of vehicle specials pages that I see today: Empty; Ineffective or Lead-Generating. Unfortunately, more than 95% of the specials pages I see are either empty or ineffective; that is, they contain specials, but they’re generating no leads or sales.

Leads and Sales

As I’ve repeated too many times to count in this series, your website has just one goal once a visitor has arrived: To convert them into a buyer. Created and maintained correctly, your vehicle specials pages (VSPs) can be one of the greatest online leads and sales drivers you employ.

Since we know 61% of buyers make no contact with dealers before buying, great VSPs can drive “walk-in” traffic. While tracking the effectiveness of your VSPs to drive offline traffic is nearly impossible, understanding that 39% of buyers are willing to submit a lead or call you in advance should allow you to extrapolate the overall effectiveness of your specials pages at driving the Traditional Ups.

A simple calculation I like is to take the leads and sales attributable to any non-per-lead source in your CRM and multiply by 1.5 to get a rough estimate of the offline traffic that source drove.

Of course, in order for your specials pages to convert visitors into buyers, the prices listed must feel like special prices and the page has to be created with plenty of conversion opportunities and calls-to-action.

Special Pricing

We know from research that people make buying decisions based on the available information; that is, if the available information tells them something is a good deal, they’ll often believe it and act on it. For your VSPs, this means all of your specials should contain a “Was” price and an “Is” price. A Was/Is pricing strategy, using the proper (and legal for your state) labeling, will generate more leads and sales than simply showing a good price online – plus, it could actually increase the average customer’s post-purchase satisfaction; since they believe they got a good deal.

There are a number of pricing labels you can use to represent your “Was” pricing, including MSRP, Book Price, Retail Price and even Was.

For your sale price, you can use (again, if legal in your state) any number of labels, including Price, E-Price, Discounted Price, Joe’s Price, Selling Price, Sales Price, Final Price, Internet Price, Promise Price, No-Haggle Price, Special Price and even Is.

Don’t Overthink Your VSPs

  • Have specials;
  • That feel special; and
  • Make sure they convert.

Sounds easy enough, right? I wish it was.

There are two problems when it comes to ensuring your specials meet these criteria. The first is time. There just isn’t enough time to have someone on your team build these VSPs on a regular basis where you always have specials that feel special. The second problem is that most every website provider’s VSP options fail to drive actual leads or calls.

For most of you, the only call to action on your specials is a link to that vehicle’s details page where you have to hope you’ll covert them and not confuse them.

Automated Specials

There are companies in the automotive space that can provide automated specials for your website to that your team never has to fool with this again. Moreover, once they’ve added an automated specials provider, dealers generally see about a 40% lift in their total website sales leads above what their websites delivered on its own. All of this incremental lead growth from their VSPs, of course.

Is This Cost-Effective?

The average dealer see about a 300% ROI with the best automated car dealer specials provider, because these leads come in at about $3 to $7 per lead; which the average dealer can close at 20% or better. (In other words: YES, these are cost-effective!)

Next up in this series, we’ll tackle one of the simplest changes you can make to your website that immediately drives more sales leads for you and your team: A Button Strategy That Drives Leads!

(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…)

About TheManager:

Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at